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Starting the week with good cheer
Davante Lewis, Ultium, Keystone, Mastodon
PRESENTED BY THE OTTERSON CRUFFIN JAM
Let’s start off the week with good cheer, shall we?
This weekend marked a major climate victory: As previously mentioned on Hill Heat, climate hawk Davante Lewis was in a December 10th runoff to be the swing vote on the Louisiana Public Service Commission, which oversees the state’s utilities and pipelines. Lewis had a tough hill to climb to take out the corrupt incumbent Lambert Boissiere, who had 43 percent of the vote in the November election. In the runoff, Lewis crushed Boissiere 59 to 41 percent, with “support from a network of advocacy groups and environmentalists who believe the commission has been asleep at the wheel regulating utilities at a time when climate change is threatening the grid.”
In another victory for democracy, on Friday workers at an electric-vehicle battery plant voted 710 to 16 to unionize. The Ohio workers at at Ultium Cells LLC, a joint venture of General Motors and LG, voted to join the United Auto Workers. Their plant is near GM’s former Lordstown Assembly plant, where the Chevy Cruze was built; Ultium owns two other plants that are expected to unionize soon. UAW is negotiating its contract with GM, Ford, and Chrysler next fall.
Jean Chemnick tells how climate activists convinced the U.S. climate delegation led by John Kerry to reverse course and endorse an international climate justice fund at the recent climate talks in Egypt. Persistent intervention by the likes of Peggy Shepard, Rachel Cleetus, Brandon Wu, Harjeet Singh, Rev. Michael Malcom, Vanessa Nakate, and Rev. Dallas Conyers, with the notable support of Rep. Jamaal Bowman (D-N.Y.), were key to winning U.S. support for the Loss and Damage Fund.
And techno-optimists are cheering the news from Lawrence Livermore Labs’ fusion reactor: 2.1 MJ in, 2.5 MJ out!
The lame-duck Congress is making end-of-year sausage, Daniel Schuman is unhappy to report:
The twin must-pass bills that remain for this lame duck session – the NDAA and additional government funding – encapsulate the most dispiriting aspects of current congressional procedure and leadership. Tracking what gets thrown into the vat and what is held out of the pink slime of legislation that oozes onto the floor this week is icky business.
In committee, on Tuesday we find Interior Deputy Secretary Tommy Beaudreau testifying before Senate Energy on the implementation of the Inflation Reduction Act; Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-Texas) chairs a hearing on modernizing international development assistance.
On Wednesday, Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Wash.) chairs a Ways and Means Trade subcommittee hearing on sustainability in trade policy and Rep. Haley Stevens (D-Mich.) chairs a Science R&D subcommittee hearing on building tech hubs.
On Thursday, Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) chairs an environmental justice subcommittee hearing on plastic waste, a week after Los Angeles and San Diego banned polysterene.
Does pairing news headlines count as editorializing? Let’s see.
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Hearings on the Hill:
Tuesday, December 13
10 AM: Senate Energy and Natural Resources
The Department Of The Interior’s Implementation Of The Infrastructure Investment And Jobs Act
2 PM: House Foreign Affairs
International Development, International Organizations and Global Corporate Social Impact
Modernizing International Development Assistance: Opportunities and Challenges
Wednesday, December 14
9:30 AM: House Ways and Means
Promoting Sustainable Environmental Practices Through Trade Policy
10 AM: House Science, Space, and Technology
Research and Technology
Building Regional Innovation Economies Part II
Thursday, December 15
10 AM: Senate Environment and Public Works
Chemical Safety, Waste Management, Environmental Justice, and Regulatory Oversight
Examining the Impact of Plastic Use and Identifying Solutions for Reducing Plastic Waste